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No one polity saturates the political space in a given territory

Walby, S. (2004). No one polity saturates the political space in a given territory. Sociology, 38(5), pp. 1035-1042. doi: 10.1177/0038038504047185

Abstract

Bruce and Voas (2004) and I are in agreement about the importance of debat-ing the usefulness of the concept of the nation-state for sociology. Our dis-agreement is over the theorization of polities, rather than the empirical evidencerelating to the significance of religion. I am pleased to have the opportunity toclarify misunderstandings and to push forward this important debate.My argument is that the diversity of types of polity in the contemporaryworld needs to be more fully appreciated and their inter-relations more subtlytheorized. In particular, I argue that it is rare for just one polity to saturate thepolitical space in a given territory. The typical approach, via the concept of thenation-state (e.g. Giddens, 1984), conflates important distinctions (especiallybetween ‘nation’, ‘state’ and ‘nation-state’) and leaves out of focus points of dis-juncture between these entities that are important in generating social and polit-ical struggle and change (e.g. stateless nations seeking a state of their own).

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Walby, S. (2004). No one polity saturates the political space in a given territory. Sociology, 38(5), pp. 1035-1042. Copyright © 2004 BSA Publications. doi: 10.1177/0038038504047185
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/21794
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